Senate budget overview on top WSHA priorities

The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus released its budget today, and it is overall positive for WSHA's budget priorities. The budget does not include any cuts to hospital-based clinics and also funds several other important health care priorities.... Read More >>

Focus on Mental Health Funding and Post-Acute Placements

The budget decreases state hospital beds, moves patients to community hospitals and invests in post-acute discharge facilities. ... Read More >>

SB 5800: Duty to Warn Gets a Hearing

Senate Bill 5800 will clarify that mental health providers have a duty to warn of a serious or imminent threat to the health or safety of a reasonably identifiable person or persons. They discharge the duty by communicating the threat to the person or persons whose health or safety is threatened or to law enforcement. Once the duty is discharged, limited liability protections are conferred on the provider.... Read More >>

Balance billing legislation places burden on hospitals

HB 2114 (originally HB 1117) is aimed at protecting patients who use an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgery center, but then receive an additional "balance" bill from an out-of-network provider for care during their stay. WSHA supports protections for patients in emergency situations in which they have no control over who provides their care. However, the bill as currently drafted creates significant administrative burden, cost and liability for hospitals. ... Read More >>

Balance billing legislation places burden on hospitals 

HB 2114 (originally HB 1117) is aimed at protecting patients who use an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgery center, but then receive an additional "balance" bill from an out-of-network provider for care during their stay. SHA supports protections for patients in emergency situations in which they have no control over who provides their care. However, the bill as currently drafted creates significant administrative burden, cost and liability for hospitals.... Read More >>

Inside Olympia: Bills moving to the opposite house

Wednesday, March 8 was the cutoff for bills to be voted out of their house of origin and move to the opposite house for consideration. There are a number of important bills still alive that WSHA both supports and opposes, including bills related to nurse staffing requirements, duty to warn, balance billing and flexibility in physician contracts.... Read More >>

We need your help on duty to warn

The recent Washington State Supreme Court ruling in Volk v DeMeerleer abandoned the longtime standard for when a provider has a duty to warn potential victims and law enforcement of a dangerous patient's inclination to cause harm. The previous standard required a warning be made when there was an actual threat of physical violence against an identifiable victim or victims. ... Read More >>

Next steps in the budget process

Friday was the cutoff for the bills to be voted out of the House Appropriations and Senate Ways & Means committees. All the bills that are still alive now move to their full house of origin for consideration and possible amendment, and the deadline for bills to pass through their house of origin is Wednesday, March 8. In other words, in order to be alive after March 8, a bill that started in the House committees must pass a floor vote of the House and vice versa in the Senate. ... Read More >>

WSHA supported bills that have passed house of origin

HB 1337, the physician licensure compact bill, passed the House with a vote of 94 to 3. SB 5436 passed the Senate 49-0. The bill makes the definition of "home" more flexible in the state's telemedicine law. ... Read More >>

After cutoff: Bills still alive

It was an exciting week leading up to Friday’s cutoff for bills to be voted out of their original policy committee. To make it easy, we’ve listed all of the major bills we’ve been tracking. This is just a partial list; WSHA/AWPHD staff have reviewed more than 300 bills thus far.... Read More >>

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